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NASA’s SpaceX crew splash down off Florida coast after six-month mission

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Nasa’s Space-X Crew-6 splashed back down on Earth after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.

Their SpaceX capsule parachuted into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

Sultan al-Neyadi, the first Arab person to spend an extended time in orbit, was among the members of the Crew-6 mission run jointly by NASA and SpaceX.

He was joined by NASA astronauts Stephen Bowen and Warren “Woody” Hoburg and Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev.

Left to right: Russian astronaut Andrei Fedyaev, NASA astronauts Warren "Woody" Hoburg and Stephen Bowen, and United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, shortly after landing. Pic: AP
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The crew, shortly after landing. Pic: AP

United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi is helped out of the SpaceX capsule. Pic: AP

gestures as he is helped out of a SpaceX capsule onboard a recovery ship after he and NASA astronauts Warren "Woody" Hoburg, Stephen Bowen, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Andrei Fedyaev landed in the Atlantic Ocean off the Florida coast, Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. The astronauts are back on Earth after a six-month stay at the International Space Station.  (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)
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Sultan al-Neyadi is helped out of the SpaceX capsule. Pic: AP

Before heading back to Earth, the crew – who had arrived at the station in March – said they were craving hot showers, steaming cups of coffee and the ocean air.

Their homecoming was delayed a day because of poor weather at the splashdown locations.

However, in the end they provided a spectacular middle-of-the-night show as their capsule streaked through the sky over Cape Canaveral before splashing down near Jacksonville.

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The capsule is seen during its descent near Jacksonville. Pic: AP
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The capsule is seen during its descent near Jacksonville. Pic: AP

NASA support teams work around the SpaceX capsule shortly after its landing. Pic: AP
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NASA support teams work around the SpaceX capsule shortly after its landing. Pic: AP

The astronauts said it was incredible to be back.

“You’ve got a roomful of happy people here,” SpaceX Mission Control said.

SpaceX launched the astronauts’ replacements more than a week ago.

Clockwise from bottom: NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, NASA astronaut Warren Hoburg and Russian astronaut Andrei Fedyaev on-board the International Space Station. Pic: AP
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Clockwise from bottom: NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen, United Arab Emirates astronaut Sultan al-Neyadi, NASA astronaut Warren Hoburg and Russia’s Andrei Fedyaev onboard the International Space Station. Pic: AP

Another crew switch will occur later this month with the long-awaited homecoming of two Russians and one American who have been up on the station for an entire year.

Their stay was doubled after their Soyuz capsule leaked all of its coolant and a new craft had to be launched.

Between crew swaps, the space station is home to seven astronauts.

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